iPerceptions Hospitality Industry Report Q1 2009 Offers New View into Traveler Behavior and Satisfaction Rates
New benchmark data shows that hospitality sites are losing 50% of potential bookings, as usability hurdles and price sensitivity take a toll on the online customer experience
iPerceptions Inc. (TSX.V:IPE), a leading provider of web-focused Voice of Customer analytics, today released its new Hospitality Industry Report Q1 2009 at http://www.iperceptions.com/en/resource-center. The report, which analyzes user-generated feedback from more than 137,000 visitors to more than 100 hospitality sites from January through March 2009, is the first in a series of quarterly reports from iPerceptions that deliver new insight into the people who are coming to hospitality websites, why they are there, what they intend to accomplish, and how well they are able to complete their objectives. The quarterly reports also provide site operators with the first-ever industry benchmark of site satisfaction and task completion through the Hospitality iPerceptions Satisfaction Index (iPSI).
According to the iPerceptions Hospitality Industry Report Q1 2009, booking is the leading preoccupation of hotel website visitors, who are primarily arranging leisure travel (70%) rather than business travel (30%). Also directly relevant to marketers and site operators are these key findings:
Price Sensitivity Hurts Satisfaction Scores
According to the iPerceptions Hospitality Industry Report Q1 2009, cost sensitivity is already having a negative impact on hospitality website satisfaction scores. The report isolated and evaluated the ten key elements of the visitor experience on a satisfaction scale of 0 to 10. Of the ten, the lowest marks went to Bottom Line (this site supports my budget goals) and Starting Point (this site is an effective starting point for my travel plans). The weak performance of these attributes, which pertain directly to price and perceived sense of value, stood in contrast to other attributes like Convenience and Discovery, and brought down the collective satisfaction rates with hospitality sites.
Usability Pitfalls Drive Down Bookings
The report also finds that visitors have real trouble completing basic tasks at hospitality sites. Most noticeably, 1 of every 2 visitors who came to a site to make a reservation reported being unable to do so. While some of the reasons underpinning this low rate lie outside the purview of the web experience, the top barriers reported by visitors were problems with site navigation, the booking flow, and insufficient hotel and room information, all of which fall squarely on the plate of interactive marketers and website developers.
The First Time Is the Worst Time
The iPerceptions Hospitality Industry Report Q1 2009 also found that 47% of site visitors were onsite for the first time and thus not acclimated to site navigation, architecture, and functionality. Hotel websites find it difficult to cater to this segment, as evidenced by first-timers’ collective iPerceptions Satisfaction Index score of 6.85, notably lower than the score of 7.51 posted by the most frequent visitors.
“Feedback from thousands of visitors collected over the past quarter demonstrates a clear negative correlation between poor website design and ability to complete an online reservation — a fact that is hard to ignore,” continued Mr. Anderson. “To boost their efficiency in a troubled economic climate, hotel websites will need to focus on delivering simpler, more intuitive site navigation, a streamlined booking process, and more robust content, supplemented with better pictures and more lifelike virtual tours.”
About the iPerceptions Satisfaction Index
The iPerceptions Satisfaction Index (iPSI) is derived from more than 85 million satisfaction and experience datapoints obtained from more than 5 million website visitors in the context of their actual site visits. The iPSI covers 10 verticals, including automotive, travel, and e-commerce. It features a perceptual framework to isolate and evaluate key elements of the visitor experience, along with predictive algorithms and modeling to uncover the attributes with the greatest impact on satisfaction. As a result, the iPSI delivers the clearest and most accurate understanding of the key issues impacting satisfaction, intent, task completion, and customer loyalty.
About iPerceptions | iPerceptions is one of North America's leading web-focused Voice of Customer analytics providers. Its webValidator Continuous Listening solution, free website survey solution 4Q, and proprietary iPerceptions Satisfaction Index (iPSI) turn thousands of data points into easy-to-understand strategic and tactical decision support for website marketers. iPerceptions' clients include such well-known brands as InterContinental Hotels, General Motors, Dell, Hyundai, LG Electronics, Choice Hotels International, BMW and Monster Worldwide. iPerceptions has offices in New York, Atlanta, Toronto, Montreal and London.
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Chief Executive Officer